Cavs talk to Avdija, to meet with Okongwu ahead of draft

Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Deni Avdija looks to pass during a recent game.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are among the teams that have spoken with Israeli forward Deni Avdija in preparation for the upcoming NBA draft, according Ethan Strauss of The Athletic.

They have also lined up a meeting USC power forward Onyeka Okongwu, as relayed by Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report.

None of this is a big surprise, given that the Cavs own the fifth overall pick. While Avdija very well could be selected before the Cavs make their pick, Okongwu is expected to still be there. The Golden State Warriors, drafting second overall, are believed to have a particularly strong interest in Avdija.

But pre-draft rumblings are often little more than a bunch of half-truths and smokescreens. So it’s always wise for Cavs general manager Koby Altman and his team to perform due diligence on all the prospects — or at least those expected to be taken in the lottery. Altman and his team always do.

And that type of scouting and compiling of information isn’t just limited to the Cavs. Per Strauss, everyone from the Atlanta Hawks to San Antonio Spurs to Milwaukee Bucks have also talked with Avdija. Yes, the Bucks, who finished with the NBA’s best regular-season record — and have precisely zero draft picks.

So what do we really know? Well, that Avdija is a coveted prospect, a whole bunch of teams are interested, and the Cavs are clearly in that group.

The NBA draft is scheduled for Nov. 18.

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of Amico Hoops. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for both Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and

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